The summer holidays are coming to a close for children and it is time to go back to school.
It still feels like yesterday I was one of those children. I finished school in June 2010, leaving with 6 GCSE’s (yes I only studied 6 subjects).
Although I don’t miss the lessons, homework and exams, I do miss the people, atmosphere and vibe of my school days. I did have some bad experiences of school in the past; which I share in my guest blog Mainstreame vs Specialist Education. However I also have lots of positive memories that I will treasure forever and never forget.
I attended Treloar School from 2008 – 2010 were I completed my GCSE’s. It is a charitable organisation that provides education for children and young people with physical disabilities nationwide. I was a weekly boarder where I stayed on a boarding house with 24 hour care. I made everlasting friendships and took part in activities I never thought possible.
In October 2009, I attended my first live music event after my classmate invited me to join her. Ever since that night I’ve fallen in love with gigs and festivals and it is what I live for. Before that day, I just assumed disabled people couldn’t attend events like this and being able to encouraged me to do anything.
In April 2009, we went on a week long residental trip to Cornwall. Here we got to take part in nature walks, abseiling, riding a boat, petting farm animals, problem solving activities plus much more.
As well as adventures outside school, we had some memorable momentts within school too.
One evening we were all in bed and the night staff suggested we do a prank on the day staff by moving students into different bedrooms so when they come to get us up, they would find different students in the wrong rooms. It was highly amusing and very entertaining.
Another occasion, my roommate was poorly so she had to stay in the health centre on campus. I was missing her so I got permission to sleep over with her one evening. The following morning, we woke up to snow. Hoping classes were cancelled, we continued in bed to then find out classes were still on for GCSE students. We were both gutted but made an excuse my friend was too poorly to attend class and I waanted to stay with her for support. We enjoyed a small indoor snowball fight and watched films. A few hours later, the senior nurse arrived on shift and said my friend was well enough to attend class so we ended up going to afternoon lessons…. boring!
Due to our student capacity being smaller than a mainstreame school, we were allowed to attend two proms; one in Year 10 & one in Year 11. It was only held in our school hall but it was fun dressing up and partying!
The ultimate memory I have from school is what I call “the famous strip night”. Yes you read that correctly, strip night! The story is as follows:
Because we were GCSE students, we were allowed to use our classroom in the evenings to “revise”. One evening, we were bored and thought we would play a game of truth and dare. One student dared a boy and girl to take each others clothes off. We thought we would time it to see how fast they could do it and had Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb playing in the background. They managed to go as far as him having his penis out and she had her boobs out.
So that was that. It went no further than that. We went to bed thinking no harm was done….We were so wrong.
The next morning I spoke to the girl who stripped and she said a caretaker saw us through the cclassroom door and has reported it to our head of house. Later on that day, we were called into the assistant head’s office where we had to explain what happened. Throughout the interigation we couldn’t stop laughing. The assistant head said we were the worst Yeear 11’s in Treloar history and a bad example to the other students. Apparently we were close to being excluded but due to care circumstances we were just grounded for a week; meaning we weren’t allowed out the boarding house except for classes and mealtimes. It almost felt like disabled teenagers couldn’t behave like other teenagers and it was unheard of at a school like this. Well we changed that!
The whole school found out about the incident and everyone thought it was brilliant and hilarious. I think this story will be in the Treloar history books.
My 2 years at Treloar school were my highlights of my educational life. Unfortunately the school campus no longer exsists and is now merged with the college campus. The buildings maybe gone but my memories will live on forever.